N.J. coronavirus update: Some children under 12 may be vaccinated as early as next week

In this June 11, 2021, file photo, a healthcare worker administrates a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to a student during a vaccination clinic

In this June 11, 2021, file photo, a healthcare worker administrates a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to a student during a vaccination clinic. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

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New Jersey is prepared to vaccinate children ages 5 to 11 against the coronavirus as early as next week, state health officials said.

Wednesday, at Gov. Murphy’s weekly coronavirus briefing, Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli revealed the state has preordered 205,000 pediatric doses of the Pfizer vaccine, in anticipation of the CDC’s approval early next week.

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Tuesday, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee reviewed Pfizer data and voted to recommend the vaccine for younger children, Persichilli said. The VRBPAC advises the Food and Drug Administration on the benefits of a particular vaccine.

The vaccine is still pending approval from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Persichilli said she expects final approval by Monday or Tuesday evening. She said New Jersey is prepared to roll out doses the following day in all 21 counties.

There are 760,000 New Jersey children who would become eligible, according to Persichilli. The recommended regimen for younger children is two 10 micrograms doses received over the span of three weeks.

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